SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man who confessed to trading 150 firearms for illegal drugs was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.
Kyle M. Vaughn, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to seven years in federal prison without parole.
On Oct. 5, 2021, Vaughn pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A Greene County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy was conducting surveillance at a residence on Sept. 26, 2019. The deputy saw Vaughn, whom he knew was a convicted felon, arrive at the apartment with his girlfriend. Vaughn had two backpacks, camouflage body armor, and a Diamondback Firearms AR-15-type rifle.
When deputies searched the apartment, they found a loaded Walther semi-automatic firearm in a holster on the kitchen table. In the two backpacks that Vaughn was carrying, deputies found a disassembled American Arms .22-caliber handgun, a rifle scope, a full box of .223-caliber ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.
According to court documents, Vaughn admitted that he used methamphetamine earlier that day and recently sold six to nine ounces of methamphetamine. Vaughn also admitted that he frequently traded guns with other felons in exchange for drugs. Vaughn admitted that he had been in possession of approximately 150 firearms during his drug dealings.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Vaughn has an extensive criminal history for possessing illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia, several instances of driving while intoxicated, assault and leaving the scene of an accident that arose from a DWI, tampering with a victim, felony domestic violence, unlawful use of a firearm, and traffic violations. At the time of this offense, Vaughn was under a criminal sentence and under court supervision for three different criminal cases in Greene County, Mo.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.